a little faith
ph: John A Ryan Photography
Why is it so hard to have a little faith? Every time a love story begins, you automatically expect it to have a bad ending. Why don't we, as a society, believe in happy endings? Here's my happy story - perhaps it'll inspire you, maybe it'll bore you. Take it as you wish.
Some people have their reservations about Internet relationships. In a lot of cases, people greet the idea of an online relationship with severe disbelief. I don't blame them. Once upon a time, I was a skeptic too. There's also nothing quite as obscure as young love, and what is even more obscure is when they love you back. But he taught me about optimism, and now I can't have doubts.
We met in the saddest time of my life. It was 2006 and I was moving across the country and leaving behind everything I'd ever known. I was scared. I sought for guidance and found none among the people I knew. Because of that, I took to the Internet. Just a silly little chat room filled with some of the dirtiest and strange people I'd ever seen.
But then, there was him.
I don't want to sound cliché but there was an instant connection. It's easy to say that you can't have that when you haven't really met the person, but as silly as it sounds I knew it was there. For a long time we tried to deny it but it was right in front of us and it was too hard to ignore.
So we moved into 2007 as a blissful couple. Despite our beginning hesitation, we were suddenly all in and completely unaware of the outside world. We both shut out reality - to us, the other was reality. Nothing waited for us outside our little box - it was just the two of us, and we were quite happy with that.
But then, the cracks started to show. You can only go halfway in an online relationship and although we knew that we were both so nervous. We were only seventeen, after all.
We battled through it. The fights and the lies and the doubts and the breakups - we made it through all of it. Finally, we met.
The fear you experience before you meet the person you're in love with face-to-face is baffling. You know this person, you've shared your whole self with them, so it seems insane to be scared of them. But you always are. You're scared of their reaction to you - are you different in person? Will they still love you the same? Is the chemistry there now that you're together?
And it was pointless. Our worries and our fights, they all meant nothing.
It was instant. It was like we had never been apart. We spent weeks holed up in my house, uninterrupted by anyone or anything. It was paradise. It was unlike anything either of us had felt before. From then on, everything moved so quickly and yet so slowly.
In 2008 we moved in together, unable to be separated anymore. In 2009 he proposed to me, exactly the way I imagined he would. In 2010 we set a date, we booked a venue and we started planning. Now, in 2011, we've announced our first child.
Some people have their reservations about Internet relationships. I urge you not to. It's easy to judge something you have no experience in and in a lot of cases you're right to be hesitant. Most won't last, and there aren't many exceptions.
He's my exception. He's the reason I've woken up happy every single day for four years. He's the smile on my face and the light in my eyes. There's not a single part of me that doesn't exist for him. It seems silly to invest your entire self in another person, but I've done so without a second thought. I have faith in him and I have faith in us.
Why does it have to be so hard just to have a little faith?